October 7, 2009

APA Recognizes 30 Great Places in America

WASHINGTON, DC — The American Planning Association (APA) today announced the country's 10 Great Neighborhoods, 10 Great Streets, and 10 Great Public Spaces for 2009 through the organization's Great Places in America national program.

Launched in 2007, Great Places in America is APA's flagship program celebrating places of exemplary character, quality, and planning. Places are selected annually and represent the gold standard in terms of having a true sense of place, noteworthy social, cultural or historical character, community involvement, resilience, and a vision for the future. To date 80 places have been designated in 41 states.

"We have an outstanding set of designations this year spread across the country from New England to the Midwest, from the South to the Pacific Northwest and Alaska," said APA Chief Executive Officer W. Paul Farmer, FAICP. "But the widespread geography is only the beginning of the story. No matter what the state, each 2009 Great Place is distinctive in its own right, which is why we've singled them out for this special honor," he added.

"Through Great Places," Farmer continued, "we can show America the results of good planning and plan implementation being done locally. Great Places also shows the country the value and benefits that accrue when communities take charge of their future and shape change through planning instead of allowing change to take its own course."

APA Great Places offer better choices for where and how people work and live. They are enjoyable, safe, and desirable. They are places where people want to be — not only to visit, but to live and work every day. America's truly great streets, neighborhoods and public spaces are defined by many unique criteria, including architectural features, accessibility, functionality, and community involvement. Through Great Places in America, APA recognizes the unique and authentic attributes of essential building blocks of great communities — streets, neighborhoods, and public spaces.

The 2009 designees are not ranked, but listed here alphabetically by state. Additional details about each designee are available at www.planning.org/greatplaces.

2009 Great Neighborhoods in America

Bungalow Heaven, Pasadena, California
Faubourg Marigny, New Orleans, Louisiana
The Haymarket, Lincoln, Nebraska
Village of Kenmore, Kenmore, New York
Downtown Fargo, Fargo, North Dakota
Ladd's Addition, Portland, Oregon
Franklin Historic District, Franklin, Tennessee
Montrose, Houston, Texas
Historic Hilton Village, Newport News, Virginia
Browne's Addition, Spokane, Washington

2009 Great Streets in America

Broadway Street, Skagway, Alaska
President Clinton Avenue, Little Rock, Arkansas
Front Street, Bath, Maine
South Main Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Front Street, Traverse City, Michigan
Haddon Avenue, Collingswood, New Jersey
Main Street, Greenville, South Carolina
Duke of Gloucester Street, Williamsburg, Virginia
North Main Street, Wheeling, West Virginia
East Newberry Boulevard, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

2009 Great Public Spaces in America

New Haven Green, New Haven, Connecticut
The Green, Dover, Delaware
The Squares of Savannah, Savannah, Georgia
Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois
East Park, Charlevoix, Michigan
The Grand Rounds, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Central Square, Keene, New Hampshire
Queens Botanical Garden, Flushing, New York
Central Market, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Virginia Beach Boardwalk, Virginia Beach, Virginia

Great Places in America is just one of the ways APA recognizes and celebrates National Community Planning Month each October. The special month is designed to recognize and celebrate the many residents, leaders, officials, and professionals who contribute to making great communities. For more about National Community Planning Month, visit www.planning.org/ncpm.


Denny Johnson, APA, 202-349-1006; djohnson@planning.org
Richard Lukas, APA, 202-349-1010; rlukas@planning.org